David Reid started Kanto and launched his products to the market in 2007, with a cool docking station for the iPod. Growing up, David was always very keen on music because his dad was a fairly hardcore audiophile. His experience searching for great sound led him to become a sound hobbyist, experimenting with the technology. Kanto is an exciting, high-quality sound project, born in Canada, with a mission to encourage the user's digital way of life and appreciation of excellent quality audio. Inspired by his appreciation for design and sound, the Kanto line-up is a colourful assortment of powered bookshelf speakers, desktop speakers, sealed subwoofers, and uniquely equipped speaker stands.
One clever move from Kanto was to recognise that the marketplace for small, powered speakers spans a broad range of consumers. Instead of offering just a few dark options like many firms, they came out with a massive number of vibrant colours which could fit into a diverse home and work environments.
Kanto YU2, YU4 and YU6 have gained a great deal of popularity. Back in mid-2019, Kanto had the idea of introducing their standard YU4 version and supplying what we prefer to call a "Henry Ford" variant. Kanto believed not everybody needed particular inputs and colour options, so why not create something simpler to allow music fans to get into genuinely fantastic sound. That's the Kanto YU model in just simple black, available at Burton Blake.
But let's talk more about their top model. The TUK active speakers from Kanto Audio are superior-level bookshelf speakers designed to convey audiophile-quality with numerous input sources to fulfil your listening requirements and master the balance of your audio settings.
The Kanto TUK comes with subwoofer output, making them the ideal companion as a TV or home-cinema sound system, as well as working with a vinyl turntable or playing any sound via Bluetooth devices. An uncommon feature of TUK Kanto is the fantastic and high-quality onboard DSP (Digital Signal Processor). This processor takes on the task of decoding the digital feed that conveys musical quality, injecting rhythm into the music, while never sounding harsh or digital. Listening to the digital sound streamed from your Mac or PC is an extreme pleasure and a new experience to dive in to.
You can practically put the TUK in the studio. Thanks to its highly designed amplifier, the Kanto TUK is rated at 130 W Total RMS with a quoted peak power of 260 W, matching some of the best amplifiers on the market.
Speaker manufactures have been producing active speakers, housed in small bookshelf cabinets and equipped with Bluetooth and amplifiers for several years. So far, nothing new. However, to find a small speaker that plays studio-quality audio and that costs less than £1,000 are pure utopia.
KANTO TUK Main features: design, technology and inputs
Kanto TUK speakers have a sleek design that adds elegance to whatever installation you put in them. They're appealing looking speakers that attract a classy edge to any environment. The dimensions, as we said, are compact for the category. Each speaker measures 17.8cm wide, 27.7cm high and 21.6cm deep. The weight is almost 5kg. Kanto has released them in black or white. An optional protective magnetic net display can be included to secure your speakers and provide them with that house audio appearance. Each speaker is equipped with a 1/4 inch screw to mount it on speakers stands if you do not have a shelf available.
The 5.25-inch main driver is made from aluminium to deliver high efficiency and low levels of distortion. The resulting sound is deep and wide and suited to a massive range of music.
The Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter measures 28mm x 35mm and uses a pleated diaphragm to deliver a detailed treble and complete the joy of listening to sound with Kanto TUK.
Kanto's TUK system consists of 2 speakers, an active loudspeaker main speaker, and a second unit that acts as a passive satellite (which has no internal amplification electronics). You can position the second unit up to 2 meters distant using the high-quality speaker cable included.
Kanto TUK main speaker comprises controls located under the woofer, consisting of a socket for headphones, a rotary knob (which has the function of switching between inputs and controlling the volume), and 5 LEDs each indicating the selected inputs.
Kanto TUK speakers also come with a full-featured remote control so that you can turn the speakers on/off, select inputs, control the volume, adjust bass and treble, pair with a Bluetooth device, mute the speakers and much more.
Let's talk about the 5 source inputs connectivity, starting with the digital ones including:
- USB port, to take a USB signal from a Mac or PC. The onboard DSP that we have already talked about before will do the rest to give you an extraordinary quality sound. The majority of computers have a pretty poor DSP that isn't audiophile quality at all, nothing to compare with Kanto TUK.
- TOSLink optical digital input, ideal for connecting any digital source that has an optical output (i.e. TV or a CD player). As we noted above, if you use the Kanto TUKs with a subwoofer, you can get a superb home cinema setup, and you don't need to buy an expensive soundbar.
- A dedicated phono stage input (with grounding connection), amazing for a vinyl lover to connect their turntable.
- A set of RCA Phono plugs for connecting any audio device with a standard line-level analogue output (i.e. FM tuner or a cassette deck).
- A USB power output useful to recharge or power a smartphone, in case you use it as a source through Bluetooth. Probably that's the input on Kanto TUK you are going using the most of the time. The built-in Bluetooth® receiver can cope with SBC, apt-X™, apt-X HD, and AAC audio codecs. With Kanto TUK, you are provided with the very best audio technology when streaming from your smartphone or any other Bluetooth device.
And if you want more bass? The TUK offers a reflex port at the rear and an additional dedicated sub-par. When used, it filters out frequencies below 80 Hz to make sure there are not any phasing problems and further enhances resolution, thanks to an active crossover. If your environment needs you to swap the tracks to power them, you can easily switch the right and left channels to maintain your stereo picture. The basses are tight and beautiful, and the highs are smooth to provide listeners with the impression of a vibrant soundstage.
We couldn't write Kanto without mentioning the Kanto SYD speaker, also available at Burton Blake. The Kanto SYD is a compact, powered Bluetooth speaker in a single-box design, letting you save space without forfeiting sound quality. Its plug-and-play requires minimal setup and gives you the freedom to enjoy your favourite tunes from a variety of sources. Stream music wireless easily via Bluetooth® with aptX™ technology, transmit high fidelity audio from your TV with Optical TOSLINK or hook up a turntable with SYD's built-in phono pre-amp. Along with a remote control packed with functionality, SYD comes with a low-profile stand that provides 16 degrees of tilt for optimal positioning. Crystal-clear, detailed sound for all to enjoy.
At Burton Blake, we have thoroughly tested many different speakers, and our verdict is clear – Kanto are definitely the speakers for people who appreciate top-notch quality audio, no matter what the source, and that's why at Burton Blake we were among the first to introduce Kanto to the UK market.
Burton Blake proudly represents Kanto. Please see the Burton Blake website for individual products details - www.burtonblake.co.uk.
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